More sleep may lead to better behavior in students

A new study reveals that longer sleep periods may lead to improved behavior and less restlessness in schoolchildren.

The research, which was published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, focused on a group of 33 children who were between 7 and 11 years old.  During the first week, researchers recorded how long the children slept each night, which was about 9.3 hours on average. The next week the group of children was split in two. One of the groups had their sleep time extended by one hour, and the other had theirs cut by half an hour.

For both weeks of the study, the kids’ teachers rated their behavior on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating bad behavior. After the first week of normal sleep, the baseline score was 50. After the second week, the kids who got the extra sleep got a mean score of 47, while the group with the reduced sleep time had an average score of 54.

“The thing that was surprising was how little sleep extension could affect functioning on a day-to-day basis,” said Umakanth Khatwa, M.D., to Reuters, who is the sleep lab director at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts, and was not involved in the study.

While it can be difficult make children go to bed earlier, author of the study, Reut Gruber M.D., recommended that parents add 15 minutes during the night and 15 minutes during the morning. She also noted that schools should teach kids about the benefits of sleep.

According to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), some studies show that melatonin, a hormone produced in the pineal gland, can help you get to sleep. You can also get melatonin from a CalMax Sleep supplement from Dr. Newton’s Natural’s

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